Tennis: Halep ends Australian dream

Dominika Cibulkova won eight games in a row to close out Simona Halep in straight sets 6-3 6-0 on Wednesday morning in the quarters of Australian Open and reach the second Grand Slam semifinal of her career.
“I just couldn’t play today,” Halep said according to “I had big emotions and couldn’t manage it. Before the match I was very nervous and I didn’t feel the ball at all. I couldn’t move my body and I couldn’t play. But she played really well, she hit all the balls very strong and moved really well.”
Despite the loss, Halep still had the best Grand Slam of her career – a win over No.8 seed Jelena Jankovic in the fourth round, her first quarterfinal at a major tournament and an honorable place 10 in WTA rankings – she leaves on a very positive note.
“I’m happy I could play a quarterfinal here at a Grand Slam. It was my dream before this. I don’t want to disturb my mind with this match today – I just want to enjoy the day and go home very happy. I will have many chances to pass the quarterfinals in Grand Slams, but I have to work hard like I have been. And I want to be prepared before the big matches. So I have to work – hard work.”
Cibulkova has now scored three upsets in a row – No.16 seed Carla Suárez Navarro, No.3 seed Maria Sharapova and No.11 seed Halep – to go this far at a major for the second time. At Roland Garros in 2009 she made it this far too, falling in straight sets to the eventual runner-up, Dinara Safina.
In another quarter Agnieszka Radwanska kept the upsets coming on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, snapping a seven-match losing streak against Victoria Azarenka to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open. It was 6-1 5-7 6-0 after two hours of play.
Andy Murray loses to Roger Federer in Australian Open
Four-time champion Roger Federer ended Andy Murray’s Australian Open hopes with a dramatic win in the quarter-finals, the BBC reports. The Swiss, 32, won 6-3 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 in three hours and 20 minutes to set up a semi-final against world number one Rafael Nadal.

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